BOULDER - The University of Colorado women's soccer team is already showing why 2012 is a completely fresh start. In their 2-0 home opener win against LIU Brooklyn, the Buffs made history.
The win was the Buffs' third shutout in as many games. It was the first time in CU history the Buffs started their season with three shutouts and the first time since 2008 the team had three shutouts in a row. The Buffs are now 12-4-1 in home openers.
The game was also a big one for junior Anne Stuller. She scored both of the team's goals for the second time this season. Stuller is the first player since Nikki Marshall in 2007 to have two two goal games in a season.
Her first goal was a deep shot off a rebound, assisted by fellow junior Hayley Hughes. Just minutes later, she rushed all the way into the net to put the game away 2-0.
"We're pleased to get the win," head coach Danny Sanchez said. "It was a great win, great crowd and great atmosphere. It's great to be at home."
The first half began all too familiar for the Buffs, going into the break with a 0-0 tie. The Buffs and Blackbirds both came out on the attack, though CU outshot LIU 6-4 in the half.
In the first three minutes, Hughes rushed to the net from the right, taking the shot. The ball was saved, but ended up right in front of freshman Madison Krauser who headed the ball just high.
After a corner, the Blackbirds came close when Toni Smith hit the post after a corner kick 12 minutes into the game.
The Blackbirds amped up their intensity after senior Evelyn Calderon was walked off the field. Lucy Gunton-Jones took an aggressive shot from 30 feet back, skimming the top crossbar.
Once again, the Buffs were close, but couldn't hit the back of the net. Pappalardo shot just over the edge of the net with less than 13 minutes remaining. With two minutes left before the break, Annie Stuller shot the ball wide, keeping the score 0-0 at halftime.
Stuller took that heat into the second half, scoring twice in less than five minutes. From 35 yards back, Stuller came off a rebound and struck the ball with ease, assisted by Hughes to put the Buffs on the board in the 50th minute.
Just minutes later, the Buffs pressed the net, with a Barczuk header being caught near the edge. CU's momentum helped Stuller to her fourth goal of the season, tying her 2011 total. Stuller avoided traffic to rush into the net and put the Buffs up 2-0.
"Once you're a junior you kind of get the hang of things," Stuller said. "I'm just trying to keep a level head the whole game. I was fortunate to get two goals."
CU got a couple more looks, and LIU couldn't answer. The Buffs outshot LIU 13 to five, and the Blackbirds were never able to make a shot on goal.
"It was really important to make a statement [with this game]," captain Amy Barczuk said, "It was a really great team effort."
Come join the Buffs as they take on Wright State at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in the final game of the Omni Hotels Colorado Women's Soccer Classic. The first 200 fans will receive a FREE CU Soccer mini ball courtesy of Omni Hotels!
The Omni Hotels Classic opened with Wright State taking on Denver. After two overtimes, the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Less than seven minutes into the game, Wright State senior Emilie Fillion scored her third goal of the season off an assist by freshman Ini Umotong.
In the 18th minute, DU found the net after Nikki Pappalardo capitalized on a WSU defensive error. No team would score for the remainder of the game, though DU hit the post in the final 17 minutes. After two overtimes, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
DU will meet LIU Brooklyn in Sunday's first game at 11 a.m.